Hôtel-Dieu - Hospices de Beaune
Wine capital of Burgundy, Beaune gives up its secrets to those who take the time to discover the town. Stroll around its walls, enjoy a prestigious wine tasting in a medieval cellar, or visit the unmissable Hospices de Beaune!
The name of Burgundy’s wine capital is forever linked to an architectural treasure, the Hôtel Dieu de Beaune, otherwise known as the Hospices de Beaune, a hospital foundation from the 15th century. This former "Palace for the Poor" is the very image of medieval Burgundy, its courtyard and roofs of multi-coloured tiles a dramatic expression of the Golden Age of the Duchy of Burgundy.
Partly surrounded by towers and walls that today house beautiful wine cellars, Beaune has more than just one treasure. The Collegiate Basilica, the daughter of Cluny Abbey, watches over the town with, close by, the former ducal residence with its half-timbered facades, today a wine museum.
Strolling through the narrow cobbled streets, discover the belfry, the massive clock tower from the Middle Ages. And throughout the town, a collection of mansions from the 15th and 16th century, each decorated with its own gallery, staircase turret and carved well. Located near the influential abbeys of Cîteaux and Cluny, Beaune has numerous convents and religious buildings that currently house the town hall, library, wine house and even a hotel.
At nightfall, the Pathways of Light are an invitation to discover the town in a different … light. The facades of the Hôtel Dieu, the ramparts and wine museum all come to life with a bright and colourful light show that takes you back in time.
It operates all summer and during major events like the Crime Film Festival, the wine sale and year-end festivities.
Located between the prestigious Côtes de Nuits and Beaune, in the 18th century, the town became the centre of the wine trade. Even before the Revolution, professionals from the textile trade and cooperage specialised in buying, producing and shipping wines to foreign markets: Burgundy’s trade was born. In 1720, Maison Champy, in 1731, Maison Bouchard Père & Fils and then Maison Patriarche in 1780 would become the pioneers of an "aristocracy of the cork", rooted in its soils and tireless promotors of Burgundy wines.
During the revolution, the trading houses bought up the old bastions of the walls, the convents, to make them their headquarters. Under the cobbled streets runs one of the largest networks of cellars in the world, an underground town that’s home to thousands of wines casks (the Burgundy barrel) and millions of bottles from across the wine region.
From the foot of the ramparts, Beaune’s vineyards climb up the "mountain", this hill with its rounded flanks which contains 42 “climats” (wine-growing plots) classified as Beaune Premier Cru which you can discover using our hiking trails. The "Mountain" is also a small town-within-a-town with its old "Sunday houses" used by the winemakers in summer, transformed into charming residences overlooking the vineyard.
The transition from town to vineyards is a natural one, through parks and gardens. Parc de la Bouzaize is a romantic garden from the 19th century that tells of botanical discoveries around the world. Right next door, Parc de la Creuzotte, created in the 21st century, through its contemporary design evokes dialogue between man and nature. Leaving them behind, the Wine Route takes you and your bike through the vineyards of the Côte de Beaune as far as Nolay. You follow the vineyard routes between plots and dry stone walls to discover stunning vistas of the vineyards. In villages with prestigious names such as Pommard, Meursault and Volnay, the winemakers welcome you into the cool of their cellars.
Rich in events, its diary counts no less than 7 festivals at the national or international level: the Thriller Film Festival, Baroque and Romantic Opera Festival, Jazz Festival, Festival of Boogie Woogie ... not forgetting the prestigious wine festivals: the Beaune Wine Festival, Beaune Flavours of the Vines ... all year, there’s something going on in the Wine Capital!